When I Can’t Find My Way

If you are expecting a trouble-free life, I have news for you: That is not going to happen. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33NLT).

We can take comfort in knowing Jesus is with us until the end, and He has not left us alone. However, we need to trust Him in all things, and that means we will have to push self aside, look to Him, and fully depend and rely on Him. Take heart…Be strong and courageous because our Savior has overcome the World. So put your faith and hope in Him. In all you do and say, trust in Him. Submit and commit yourself to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

PRAYER: When I can’t find my way, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of the Heavens and Earth.”

Heavenly Father, You are my Helper and have not left me comfortless. Thank You for always being here for me and for Your Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth. I know that I can look to you and know You have already gone before me and made a way for me. Lord, be with me as I am putting my hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

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Remember the Message of the Cross…

Remember in your celebration and contemplation of the New Year to come to keep Christ first in all things.  The cross cannot be separated from Christ, and Christ cannot be separated from the cross.  On that cross, Christ paid the price.  He has saved us, healed us, delivered us, and has set us free.  Daily we are being made holy as we die to self.

“For even The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom in the place of the many.” -Mark 10:45 (Aramaic Bible In Plain English)

As we look forward to celebrating the New Year just around the corner, let us remember to continue living in wholehearted devotion to Him, never looking back, and pressing on into the future.  Let us carry out the tasks He has placed before us and continue to grow in the love of Christ.

Linda A. Knowles

Being Tempted Is Not A Sin



“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him..” -Mark 1:12-13 (NLT)



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Temptation always comes, and while being tempted is not a sin, giving in to the temptation is a sin.  The Word of God goes so far as to say that if we are tempting someone that is sin as well and states, “…Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting,” (Matthew 18:7 NLT).  We are never to use someone’s weaknesses against him/her to tempt him/her to commit sin against God.  In other words, look out for the best interests of others and encourage them to progress in their walk with God.
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We are not to rejoice when someone trips up and falls into temptation.  We are, however, to spur each other on, not play on the weaknesses that the other has.
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With all that being said, Jesus gave us an example of how to handle temptation and what we should do when faced with temptation.  We are to respond with “It is written,” which is why it is so important to daily be in the Word of God studying, thinking about the Scriptures, applying the Word to our lives, and hiding God’s Word in our hearts in order to combat temptation and to live a life pleasing to God. 
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Let’s look at how Jesus handled temptation:
“Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.  And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’  Jesus responded, ‘The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” -Luke 4:9-12
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Jesus made it very clear for us to know that the devil is the father of lies and no truth can be found in him, and that is recorded in John 8:44 (NLT), which states, “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
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The devil twisted the Scripture to tempt Jesus when he said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!  For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.'”  Jesus knew the Scriptures well and knew Satan was twisting the Scriptures.  God does protect, and that is truth.  God will command His angels to watch over and guard us;  However, we are not to take the promises of God lightly nor should we ever be so careless in thinking that if we jump off a building that God will keep us from going splat on the ground.  Jesus, rightly dividing the Word of God, gave us this clear demonstration of how to wield the Sword of the Spirit when we’re faced with temptation.  Jesus responded by saying, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'”  


REFLECTION:  “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You,” (Psalm 119:11 BSB).  Do you have daily time reading and studying the Bible?  Do you truly know the Bible?  Do you walk in obedience to the Word of God?  The bible is not a buffet where you can choose what you like and what you don’t like.  You need the entire counsel of God, not just some of His counsel.   The Word tells you how live a holy life, tells you everything you need to know to inherit eternal life, and the Word of God teaches you how to handle temptation, and instructs you as to what God has given you to overcome whatever may come your way.  “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT).  As a child of God, hiding God’s Word in your heart and clinging to His truth will help you in your life. However, it is absolutely vital for you apply the Word of God to your life, to live the Word of God out loud in your life, not just when temptation strikes. It is not enough to be exposed to the Word of God. It is not enough to read the Word of God. You must be applying the Word, and you must be living out the Word in every aspect of your life. You must be obeying God’s commands especially if you claim to love God and claim to be His child.  When you truly know the Word of God, you will know when half-truths come your way and know if someone is twisting the Scriptures.  Hide His Word in your heart so you might not sin against Him.


PRAYERHeavenly Father, You are the God of all Truth.  I ask You to help me remain steadfast in You, to keep my feet from slipping.  Lord, teach me Your ways and Your truth.  Help me to always rightly divide Your Word.  May I always hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles


“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7 (NLT)

Times of Desperation Are The Best



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You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

Thank You For Never Letting Me Go

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There is no better place that I have found than to be in the arms of the Eternal God and Savior.  He is unchanging, everlasting, the First and the Last, and He is Yahweh Shammah, The Lord Is There.  

May you be filled with joy and peace in this season and beyond.

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

-Isaiah 43:2

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua 1:9

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.”

-Psalm 119:114

 

 

 

You, O LORD, are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.

Thank you for never letting me go.

 

 

 

 

 

The Horrible Crabapple Tree, Plastic Sandwich Bag, & Disgruntled Me

APPLE TREE 1On the property of the house I grew up in, there was a Crabapple Tree, and I despised the tree.  As a kid, I blamed the tree for the miserable apples it produced, giving me the displeasure of having to pick up all the apples falling from it onto the ground. I hated picking up those apples, and I most often could be heard shouting, “I hate this!” and “Stupid apples!”
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I braced myself before I started that chore, put a plastic sandwich bag on my hand because of how rotten they were, and then I would begin.  It was the worst chore, but I had only two options to go outside and complete my chore OR be grounded.  I chose to complete my chore.  All I wanted was for the Crabapple Tree to work with me.  I wasn’t asking for a lot when I shouted at the tree, “Work with me!  Not against me.”
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It was an absolutely beautiful tree, but the fruit was rotten.


WHAT KIND OF TREE ARE YOU?

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Are you a good tree producing good fruit, or are you a bad tree, like the Crabapple Tree in this story, producing rotten fruit?
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Jesus had this to say in Luke 6:43-45, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” -John 15:16



As a child of God, you are chosen by Jesus to go forth and bear much fruit.  How you conduct yourself is very important because unbelievers are watching you especially if you are witnessing to them about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Some will try to push you to the edge to see how you will react, and so there must be a noticeable difference between you and those who are unbelievers.  Your conduct and your speech must line up together.  If the unbeliever cannot tell the difference between you and them, then there is a problem.  All of us are to be lights in this dark world.  If you live like the world while claiming to be a child of God, you are fooling yourself and still living in darkness (1 John 1:1-8).
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In 1 Samuel 9:2, King Saul is described as handsome.  God, however, saw King Saul’s heart.  King Saul did not do the will of God, bearing the fruits of disobedience and being more concerned about the approval of man.
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God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 
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And God is still telling us the same thing today.  God wants us to do His will, and when we do His will out of obedience and devotion to Him, we are producing good fruit.  When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting us, changing us.  When we conform our will to the Lord’s will, we will produce good fruit.  The only reason we are able to bear the fruit God wants us to bear is because of His grace and His mercy, and as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us into His Truth, we bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
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What fruit are you bearing?  Are your actions and your words lining up together?  Are you walking the walk and not just talking the talk?  Is there a noticeable difference between you and the unbeliever?


“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  (2 Peter 3:9)



 Much Love To You All,
L.A.  Knowles

“Make Me Like Wax”

MAKE ME LIKE WAX

Written By Linda A. Knowles

October 2003

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Make me like wax before the fire,

Softened and easy to shape.

Though my flesh roars out

for acts and crusades of rebellion,

May my spirit always yield

and submit to your ways.

Though purification

from selfishness and pride,

wrongful ways and sinful attitudes

may inflict temporal pain,

cleansed me as You did Isaiah

when the coal touched his lips

so I may be with You

from everlasting to everlasting.

May I continually strive

along your paths of righteousness

and seek out Your ways

that I might not become calloused

and lose First Love.